In a move that appears to be a coup for Michael Robertson et al, Wal-Mart's online store is offering eight different Microtel PCs with LindowsOS included. The computers sell for USD$299 to $599 and ship in one to seven days.
NewsForge originally reviewed Wal-Mart's OS-less PCs, a dramatic move away from the standard Windows-based home computer. Now the retailer is advertising systems with the LindowsOS distribution pre-installed, no longer just moving away from Windows, but now directly competing with it:
"These computers do not ship with Microsoft Windows. They ship with an exciting new UNIX based Operating System (OS) named Lindows. This exciting new OS delivers the stability of UNIX with the ease of Windows and the ability to run most Microsoft programs. These computer systems are a perfect low cost alternative to computers preloaded with Microsoft Windows."
To say that Lindows runs most Microsoft programs is a bit of a stretch. Wal-Mart says the PCs come with "mail, word processor, web browser, address book, calculator, cd player, MP3 player, Microsoft PowerPoint viewer, Word viewer, and Excel viewer," and buyers get to select three "free" Click-N-Run applications from the Lindows.com warehouse (of GPLed KDE-based software, we might add.)
No need to be concerned about the PCI 56k modems that come with the Microtel systems -- according to this NewsForge report, Microtel is shipping Linux-compatible modems in these systems.
For a really cheap setup, get the $299 system, add a USD$49 HP printer (most of HPs printers work with Linux) and a 15" Microtel monitor for USD$119. And if you're especially Wal-Mart loyal, you can even add a subscription to the company's ISP service, called Wal-Mart Connect, for USD$9.94 a month.